Vulnerability of Young and Older Workers Across Europe in Times of Crisis
The current social and economic developments in Europe provide us with much of the rationale to understand how our contemporary society has reached the current situation of highly polarised social and labour inequalities. In this context, debates on the current labour market are centred on the worldwide economic crisis and emerging inequalities, exploring the underlying causes that stem from labour market transformations, which for decades have weakened the situation of workers in positions of high risk. Emphasis is placed on labour precariat – where both unemployment and employment interact to define vulnerability, particularly of those not fitting within the expected ideal-type worker, in Europe, such as the workers at either end of the labour age spectrum, the older and the younger workers. This volume, adopts a dual lens that incorporates the diversity of social dialogue outlooks, to critically expose the situation of these two vulnerable groups; the younger and the older workers. A context in which trade unions’ representation of such workers’ interests and rights is fundamental in ensuring opportunities for workers of all ages throughout the lifecycle. Through an analysis grounded on an innovative empirical study conducted across Europe, the volume exposes how beyond these two age groups workers, vulnerability of non-ideal type workers – including migrant workers, women workers and the intersectional range of social constructions that place workers in these high social risk situations, is the core for their enduring vulnerability, particularly in times of crisis in Europe. Moreover, the several contributions included expose how the condition of these non ideal-type workers not only places them in a constantly precarious labour situation, but also renders them invisible to those mechanisms of support, protection and prevention of their working rights and opportunities.